Vintage Gretsch Guitars

12 string Duo Jet?

1

Anyone know the story behind this 12 Duo Jet Del Casher is playing?

3

Dynas and block fretboard markers would suggest '54/55 vintage. Changed pick guard, and tailpiece (to accommodate the 12 strings). I SO wanted him to go right into Eruption at some point in that clip!

Maybe we can track down Deke for some additional intel?!

4

Could it be this same Duo Jet from an early ad, later converted to the 12-string format?

6

I'm sure it is, unless he happened to have more than one mid-1950s Duo Jet. In addition to the tailpiece and pickguard, he also replaced the DeArmonds with Rickenbacker toasters. And his method for cramming 12 tuners on a Duo Jet headstock is creative. From the top corners to the nut, it's pretty much shaved down to a straight line, giving a more clean surface to work with. You kind of see it here.

And he did this a long time ago. Here he is with Frank Zappa. You can just barely see the new tailpiece and what looks like a lot of shiny metal at the headstock. As a session player, I'd bet he felt the need to have a 12-string after 1964. Buying one seems like it would have been easier, but he was a devoted tinkerer (and wah-wah pedal inventor).

7

If anybody wants to ask him about it directly, his email is his first name at his whole name, no dots or spaces, dot com.

8

I'll ask Del in about 10 days when we have dinner. We have a geeky guitar club called the "Hollywood Gun Club". No real guns, just guitars. We're due to get together on the 11th, but I know Del outside of this as well. I met him through a friend & former bandmate Steve Gunner(real name). Steve has played with Creedence Clearwater Revisited since they started up again in the early/mid `90's. Guys like Joe Bonamassa, Howard Leese Drew Berlin, etc all come and since this is our Xmas get together, it should be a blast! Del's a really wonderful guy!

9

Somebody needs to do a good interview with him. I've always thought the guitar work with the Three Suns was wild; if he was doing that on a Duo Jet that's another big hole in the stereotype of Gretsch being "just a rockabilly" guitar.

10

This clip only confirms my opinion that the Gretsch Duo Jet is the best sounding electric guitar ever made.

11

I'll ask Del in about 10 days when we have dinner. We have a geeky guitar club called the "Hollywood Gun Club". No real guns, just guitars. We're due to get together on the 11th, but I know Del outside of this as well. I met him through a friend & former bandmate Steve Gunner(real name). Steve has played with Creedence Clearwater Revisited since they started up again in the early/mid `90's. Guys like Joe Bonamassa, Howard Leese Drew Berlin, etc all come and since this is our Xmas get together, it should be a blast! Del's a really wonderful guy!

– Don Butler aka: Toneman

Wow! Hobb-knobing with your fellow wizards seems like an epic night!

12

Well seeing this maybe means someone could cram 12 tuners on a Tenny headstock and make me a Nesmith Tennessean 12 like he had in the earliest Monkees pix....

13

This clip only confirms my opinion that the Gretsch Duo Jet is the best sounding electric guitar ever made.

– BuddyHollywood

i second this!

14

Wow! Hobb-knobing with your fellow wizards seems like an epic night!

– Bob Howard

Man, they're no different than you or me.. Everyone I've met there over the last few years I've been going to these has been really nice. The big upsetter to me was getting to know Andy Fraser (from the band Free). We were getting to be good friends and then he died.. His gardener found him slumped over the steering wheel of his car. The result of heart failure and being HIV+ His two daughters were heartbroken. Andy did live a hard life though. Started touring with John Mayall at the age of 15..then into Free.. We just hit it off about six years ago.. I guess that's life..

15

Well seeing this maybe means someone could cram 12 tuners on a Tenny headstock and make me a Nesmith Tennessean 12 like he had in the earliest Monkees pix....

– DCBirdMan

I may be wrong but I think that is either a new neck or at least a new headstock on the 12er.

16

I was at that show and enjoyed his playing.

17

Gretsch needs to make a 12 string Duo Jet. Sounds like it's stringed like a Ric with the bass string above the octave.

18

Del is a cool guy, with unbelievable stories that are actually true. I'm sure he would be happy to comment here, and I bet he has some interested tales from original days of Gretsch.


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